TANZANIA TIMES
The Times of Tanzania

Would Tanzanians rather drink Beer than Wine?


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Which countries in Africa empty more barrels of wine?

Many, especially Togo and others in the North-Western region of Africa.

However, Tanzania is not among the countries where wine fills glasses for whatever reason.

In fact, most Tanzanians, at least according to recent wine data compilations, would rather gulp the frothy beers down their throats, than feel the burning sensation of wine melting in their chests.

Tanzania, happens to be Africa’s second-biggest wine producer after South Africa.

The country is also being praised for making the best and sweetest wines on the continent.

Yet its residents hardly bother to drink wine, despite ranking high when it comes to guzzling other types of alcoholic drinks.

In fact, latest news from grapevine reveal that Tanzania is totally missing out, from the recently released list of Top-Twenty African Countries with largest Wine consuming Population.

So. Which are the top twenty African Countries whose people enjoy their glasses of Wine?

The figures from Statista indicate that Togo tops the bill with 26 percent of the country’s population enjoying their glass of wine, be it red or white the Togolese cheer to their health.

Cameroon comes second with 25 percent of its population sipping wine.

In the third position enters Ivory Coast with 23 percent. Cote D’ Ivoire ties with the Congo (Brazaville) also with 23 percent population of wine drinkers.

Benin comes in at Number Five with 21 percent of its citizens drinking wine.

The Mineral Rich South-Africa is slotted at Number 6 with 19 Percent. Again SA ties with Gabon which also has 19 percent as well as Burkina Faso again with 19 percent.

Nigeria may have the largest population in Africa, but its residents are not keen on wine, only about 18 percent of Nigerians drink wine. The country there ranks 9th under this segment.

Closing the top-ten is Namibia whose 15 percent of the Population bother to taste wine.

The battle of bottles. Wine is yet to overtake other drinks in Africa

From the Grapevine

Now when it finally comes to the East African region, it is only Kenya at Number eleven, which at least has a considerable percentage of it residents who sometimes sip their wines. These, according to Statista, account for 13 percent of the country’s population.

Madagascar may be famous for its popular film starring Penguins, but only about 13 percent of its human population drink wine, placing the country at number 12.

The Democratic Republic of Congo happens to be a big country, but only 12 percent of its people drink wine, ranking DRC at number 13 on the wine list.

Ah! The Ugandans, between if asked to choose between Wine and Waragi, they will pick the latter. Still, 11 percent of its population will go for the former, that is why the country is ranked 14th in Africa.

It seems the Norther you go, the Winer its get and Morocco, at number 15, is also among the top twenty countries of Africa with wine drinkers. At least 11 percent of its population enjoy their glasses.

Africa’s wine consumption is mostly around this region (Statista)

Ethiopia with its ancient churches should have been in the top ten in the list, but somehow only about 11 percent of the Abyssinians drink wine. Possibly the red Altar wine too at the country hits the 16th position.

We all know how good Zambians are at guzzling down all varieties of Beer, but when it comes to Wine, it is only 10 percent of the population that pour it in their glasses. Zambia is 18th on the list.

Still up North, the Sahelian Ghana, at the Sahara, has managed the 19th position with 10 percent of its population drinking wine.

Closing the list at number 20 is Malawi, bordering Tanzania on the South. Only 9 percent of Malawians drink wine. Still the figure is better than their immediate northern neighbour.

On the Dead Man’s Chest? Yo-ho-hoo…And the bottle of Wine

In Africa, there is a very thin line between mourning and celebrations.

At any funeral, alcohol consumption takes center stage, usually traditional beer but of late exotic drinks have also been included depending with a particular family’s wealth or education status.

Wine, is sometimes used at funeral as much as it gets consumed during celebrations and also as part as Christian communions during Saturday or Sunday worships, marriage nuptials and even funeral services.

The Canah Galilee effect

According to Martin Luther, the founder of the Lutheran Church, “Beer is made by men, Wine by God.”

Coincidentally, it is actually the Christian Church, this time the Catholic one, which introduced grape farming and eventually wine making industry in Tanzania.

But unlike Jesus Christ’s miracle at the Biblical wedding in Galilee. The country’s successful winery did not come from water conversion. After all, Dodoma where the wine business is pivoted, is among the country’s driest regions.

Grapevines were first introduced to the Tanzania’s central zone in 1938 by missionaries from the Hombolo Catholic Mission.

Naboth’s Farm? A Flourishing Vineyard in Dodoma

Dodoma, a city which recently had its status upgraded to a Capital boasts more than 150 hectares of vineyards filled with clusters of red and white grapes that produce variety of Dodoma wines. The brand takes its name from the city n which the grapes are grown.

By 2013 Tanzania was ranked among Africa’s top five, challenging South Africa’s 350 years of dominance of the continent’s wine business.

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